Mexican Box Office Reaches Record High in 2015

MEXICO CITY – Hollywood tentpoles lifted Mexico’s B.O. 14.8% in 2015 in a record year for distribs and exhibs alike, generating sales of 13.8 billion pesos, or roughly $870 million, according to Mexico film chamber Canacine’s final report on the year released Wednesday.

B.O. was boosted by a jump in the number of screens to 6,011 in 2015 from 5,733 in 2014 with exhibs Cinepolis and Cinemex dominating the market.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” led the pack at $49.4 million followed closely by “Fast and Furious 7” ($49.1 million), “Minions” ($45.7) and “Jurassic World” ($43.2 million). The overall take means Mexico B.O. expansion well outstripped global gross growth, which the report put at 6%.

Universal had a banner year here, pulling in a record $193.2 million for its 2015 Mexico releases – taking No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 of the top 10. Disney took second place among distribs in 2015, reaching $160.4 million. However, the Mouse House released only 15 films here compared to U’s 27.

The number of tickets was up 15% to 296 million, making Mexico the No. 4 market worldwide in terms of total seats filled, while the gross income put the nation in the No. 10 slot. Average ticket price held tight at $3.20 versus the U.S. average of $8.30. Mexico offers the sixth cheapest ticket price by country.

Mexican films were not so lucky at the box office in 2015, as gross fell to $46.6 million. In pesos, this was a 27.7% drop to 739 million pesos from 1.023 billion pesos in 2014.

The drop came despite an increase in the number of locally produced films rising to 85 from 67 in the previous year. While 2014 and 2015 both saw three films surpassing the 100 million-peso mark, 2015 was much weaker respectively with the rest of its top 10 releases. The No. 4 to No. 10 releases pulled in totals of 193.1 million pesos in 2015 and 367.6 million in 2014.

Mexico’s top three films for 2015 were “Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos” ($10.6 million), “El Gran Pequeno” ($9.3 million) and “A la Mala” ($8 million). Both 2014 and 2015 pale in comparison to the stellar year Mexico saw in 2013 with smash hits “Instructions Not Included” and “We the Nobles.”

The two films helped launched a rash of feel-good family comedies, but despite some solid outings, nothing has come close to achieving the success of either of the pics.

For the first time, Canacine’s annual report included data on Mexican films released in the U.S., showing six films pulling in a total of $19.4 million in stateside B.O., with “Gallo” again the leader with $9.08 million.

The tracking is indicative of the growing Spanish-speaking, movie-going audience and market interest in the demo.

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